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20121006
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, massachusetts senator john kerry. remember at the democratic convention this year when john kerry gave the bang-up speech about mitt romney learning everything he knew about russia by watching rocky 4, and his overseas trip actually being a blooper reel and all that stuff? this this great barn burner of a very funny speech by john kerry. everybody said, afterwards, where was that john kerry when he was the guy running for president in 2004? well, that john kerry actually did show up in 2004 when he was running for president. at least he showed up for the first debate against the incumbent president that year, and in that first debate against the incumbent president, challenger john kerry cleaned the president's clock. >> i made a mistake in how i talk about the war, but the president made a mistake in invading iraq. which is worse? >> president bush and senator kerry were hard at it again today, campaigning across battleground states, continuing the spirited debate they had last night on terrorism in iraq, but this time they were not on a common stage and kerry had the kind of confidence that c
and they look extremely bored. michael, senator john kerry is playing the president's sparring partner. the role of mitt romney, as he prepares for next week's debate. andrea mitchell asked him earlier about that memo from beth mye. rs. here is what mr. kerry had to say. >> please, please, please, give me 20 breaks, not just one. the fact is that mitt romney is a very good debater. he's practiced and practiced and practiced and practiced. this is the biggest deal in the world to him. >> he's right, isn't he? because mr. romney obviously has a lot more time to devote to debate practice than the president does and i expect it could be edadvantageous for mr. romney. >> well, i guess the other thing is romney has debated how many primary debates? about 20? it was ludicrous. so he's had a lot of time -- >> to be fair, michael, he wasn't debating figures of einstein intelligence. >> that's right. and a couple other differences, a one-on-one debate is very different than that clown car of, you know, 12 people coming out on the stage and the other is that in those primary debates, you know, people were
and john kerry fought it out every day about the war. in 2008 we were at war, and barack obama and john mccain fought it out every day in that war. this week when the financial crisis was absolutely on fire, at that debate, they were talking about the wars. this year, president obama does bring it up, he does bring it up at most of his stump speeches, how he explains what he has done and planning on doing talking about the two wars. he doesn't have to say much more because he's speaking to an empty room. the romney campaign has no identifiable position on afghanistan. they have been unwilling and unable to hold up that side of debate and so regardless of what it means for the candidates as a country we are deprived of a national discussion about a war we are in. 70,000 american families having skin in the game right now. we have -- that's part of the reason i'm looking forward to the debates. some ways sort of a post-policy campaign. and you can't do that in a debate, at least unless the debate is really bad. >> this is -- this is billed as a domestic policy debate, but -- and there are so
to john kerry a few years ago. but romney's people should have been smart enough to know this was happening. there was no presumption of that. they didn't get out aahead of the story. they didn't define their candidate well. there's two parts to this election, chris. one, is romney said a lot of people are unhappy with obama and his leadership and the economy. we accept that. he never made the connection that i'm the answer and solution. that's where the disconnect happened. >> mitt romney has been doing a lot to -- we saw it starting at the conventions. make himself more acceptable and help people understand him better. he's doing these direct into the camera ads. let me play one of those for you. >> more americans are living in poverty than when president obama took office. my plan will create 12 million new jobs over the next four years. helping lift families out of poverty and strengthening the middle class. >> the president is doing the same thing, doing some of these direct to camera. when you see a million ads in a battleground states, do these stand out? how do yo
in as obama during john mccain's 2008 prep. the president practicing with jor kerry playing the role of romney. kerry is a good fit since the parallels between his '04 and current one is overwhelming. can romney get the post-debate bounce kerry did in '04 and take it one step further and turn it into something kerry couldn't do eight years ago. in '04 president bush had a six-point lead before the debates but kerry's performance boosted him tying the men for the final debate but it was senator kerry in december '04 and not president elect kerry. the national polls are close her today than eight years ago but the numbers in key battlegrounds today tell an obama victory story. democratic strategist steve el mendorf, kerry's deputy campaign manager in '04. how are you? >> good, how are you. >> tell me about why your guy won the debates and lost the election and what that says potentially about this dynamic and this race right now is this. >> i think any challenger has a benefit when they get up on the stage against the president of the united states. the debates level the playing field. they put
presidential nominee and my old boss john kerry. that is ahead on msnbc at 1:00 p.m. eastern. now coming up here it may be the most important untold story in this election. the reason why governor romney can't get traction in these polls. we're going to talk about the emerging obama economy with chris hayes, ahead on "now." tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about low-cost investing. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 at schwab, we're committed to offering you tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 low-cost investment options-- tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 like our exchange traded funds, or etfs tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 which now have the lowest tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 operating expenses tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 in their respective tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 lipper categories. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 lower than spdr tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and even lower than vanguard. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 that means with schwab, tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 your portfolio has tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 a better chance to grow. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and you can trade all our etfs online, tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 commission-free, from your schwab acc
is the mock mitt romney, if you will, john kerry, senator john kerry of massachusetts, he also battle tested. he had his own experience in these debates in 2004. people forget he had a series of epic debates debating a republican governor of massachusetts who challenged him for his senate seat back in 1996. that was bill welles. so it's going to be intense, and as you mentioned, he leaves tomorrow, has one event on the ground when he leaves for nevada. then he goes to ground, training at altitude, because the debate is in the mile-high city of denver. but we don't expect to see much of him. he's going to be doing a lot of practicing for that debate wednesday night. >> this is president obama's first debate since 2008. governor romney had what seemed like 163 primary debates earlier this year. how confident are the president's advisers that he's not a tad rusty? >> reporter: you know, i think that that's something, a story line that they would like to promote. what we've seen, it's almost comica comical, to the extent we've seen both camps downplayings the expectations. so much of life is exp
to come up with an analogy which is for me the de ja vu of this election is 2004. okay? when john kerry couldn't describe his position was on the war of iraq, would he he have voted for it knowing what he knew at that time? how would he get out of it? it's one thing to deliver a critique of a sitting president with big challenges. even if you think that the sitting president is responsible for all of those challenges, as democrats thought about president bushes, they are now thinking about it with president obama. it's easy. when you say, i'm going to make it better, vote for me. people not unreasonably, not laugh blee say, how are you going to do that? what are you going to do? john kerry struggled with that question. mitt romney is struggling with that now. >> that seems to be the problem. what is the message besides we don't like president obama. >> my problem with the campaign is they really need to start delineating between what the obama campaipresidency looks li romney's presidentially will look like. i agree with you, we're getting down to the 11th hour and there's one final deb
candidates that you mentioned. >> that's right. he eliminated that. john kerry in '04. >> this is somebody who proved he's going to run to the finish line last night. >> much more to come, special post debate edition of the daily rundown in denver. big supporters for both campaigns here to break down the debate. senator orrin hatch on behalf of mitt romney and governor mark o'malley on behalf of president obama. president obama does two rallies. one in denver. one in madison, wisconsin. then heads home. mitt romney, nothing here. flies and joins paul ryan in virginia later today. you're watching "the daily rundown" only on msnbc. new prilosec otc wildberry is the same frequent heartburn treatment as prilosec otc. now with a fancy coating that gives you a burst of wildberry flavor. now why make a flavored heartburn pill? because this is america. and we don't just make things you want, we make things you didn't even know you wanted. like a spoon fork. spray cheese. and jeans made out of sweatpants. so grab yourself some new prilosec otc wildberry. [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24
a headline, "blame obama's lousy debate on john kerry. bring bill clinton as his debate coach." that's one person's opinion of the matter. nevertheless, no chance in that happening, but we know from what david axelrod has said and others, there will likely be a strategy change for the president in the next debate. >> no one knows why the president didn't do as well. i think that you're going to see a more focused president obama. actually, a more focused obama campaign team on preparation. this is a conversation we had about mitt romney and a lot of things he said shouldn't have been too surprising given all the republican debates we had seen over the past year or so. and president obama was caught flat-footed, his campaign was flat-footed. we'll see if the adjustments they end up making as david axelrod promised. >> what's the early word on the vice presidential debates? you have democrats off the record worried knowing that biden could give a make moment or a break moment. >> it's most watched tv. it's important to note that paul ryan has never been on this stage before. joe biden, given
will change the race. we've seen mondale outperform president raleigh in 1984 and with john kerry defeated bush. neither kerry or mondale translated that into an election night win, although steve kornacki likes to think about a potential mondale president history. as the dust settles, they're back on the trail today. obama is en route to a rally in wisconsin, but earlier today in denver supporters saw the obama we hoped to see last night. >> when i got onto the stage, i met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be mitt romney. he said that he doesn't even know that there's such laws that encourage outsourcing, never heard of them. he said if it's true, he must need a new accountant. we know for sure it was not the real mitt romney, because he seems to be doing just fine with his current accountant. thank goodness somebody is finally getting tough on big bird. it's about time. >> that guy's a winner. mitt romney joining paul ryan this evening in my home state of virginia, but which mitt will show up? the mitt who won the debate by putting the president on the defensive, spoke directly t
about it. my take is president clinton had a great advice, and i think it was for john kerry in 2004, which is, always run as if the economy is doing well. his point about that was if you run on the message as romney has that the economy is in the tank and the president has messed it up, you better hope that the economic data is sufficiently bad leading up to the election that that argument that has real trenches. the problem is not that the economic data is so great, it's not. it's clearly not getting particularly worse, and there's a lot of evidence it's getting a little better in terms of jobs and income. that totally removes the steam from the argument of, you've messed everything up. >> sure. in addition to the actual data, there's some polling that indicates that people at least feel like the economy is improving, and the right track/wrong track question. a lot of folks more than six months ago saying we think the country is moving in a good directions. how does that happen? if the numbers aren't dramatically different how can people feel like things are okay. >> you have two p
taking constructive criticism? is he bristoling? responding to jibes from john kerry playing mitt romney? >> well, the mood is a lot of hard work, you know, he's been able to take a couple of trips, you know, to the hoover dam and he went to visit our field office, but, you know, he's putting good time in to get ready for this debate. as you know we had to cut back other debate prep because of the job of being president, but he's taken the criticism well and i think that you'll see him show up tonight well prepared. >> there is a foreign policy debate exploding around him and this is supposed to be a domestic policy debate. the question now as darrell issa and know jason chav fits right letters to hillary clinton demanding answers to what happened in benghazi, questions about whether people there asked for more security, whether there was an intelligence failure, there's talk of plans for retaliation, if the targeting can be found, what is the response to the republican criticism and criticism from some democrats that this was not handled well? >> well, i'll leave some of the details to
the debates. did he end up being president? no, he did not. >> john kerry. >> john kerry won the debates. he also did not end up being president. >> yeah, but, karen, i think what's different this time around is the absolute falsification that took place last night. it was breath-taking. it was almost -- well, it was shakespearean in terms of its performance. >> and you know what, martin, to that point, i think part of whether where i'd like to see the obama folks take this message is, we have already had a president who is very comfortable, and a vice president by the way, looking us straight in the eye and lying to us and sending men and women to war. do we want to have another president who can stand on the stage for 90 minutes and lie to the american people? i don't think that's what we want. i think that's dangerous for this country. i think they're really going to have to go hard at that. unfortunately, not a lot of people are reading the fact checks, right? we all know and a lot of the mi knew sha of the facts and where he was wrong and wasn't wrong, i don't know how much people are p
, but i certainly would not underestimate what barack obama brings to it. >> reporter: john kerry's playing romney with the president. in a weekend memo, republicans urged kerry to press the president on libya and syria. romney calls obama's foreign policy dangerous. romney's debate plan, clearly and concisely explain how he can fix the economy. >> i expect to be able to describe that in a way people will understand, and if they do, i get elected. >> reporter: his running mate, paul ryan, is already preparing for his own debate a week away. >> i really believe in the policies that we're providing, we're pursuing. and at the end of the day, i'm just going to go in there and be me. >> reporter: and if you can't control what actually happens in the debate, you certainly control what happens afterwards. the spin already in the planning. ryan's going to be with romney in virginia. the president is staying in colorado for a rally there. veronica? >> tracie, we appreciate it. thank you. >>> nato forces in afghanistan say three international service members and their translator were kille
who won the debate. i used to be one of those guys. i knew for sure that john kerry won all three of his debates against george bush. but of course he didn't. this is a good time to think about what it means to win a debate. in high school and college debates there are judges to decide which debaters who actually won. those debates have real winners. winners who get real trophies. no one got a trophy but plenty of people guessed at who would have gotten a trophy. the question is they were debating for votes and those votes wouldn't be counted until next month. so all of the winner talk you have withbeen hearing is just guessing and all of the guessers have been wrong before. my guess is about who won debates have been wrong many times which is why it was so easy for me to resist guessing who one last night. you know court reporters are smarter about this. court reporters have seen high priced defense lawyers deliver brilliant closing arguments. court reporters don't even say who won. they wait, they wait hours sometimes days for the jury to vote and then tell them who won. court r
against john kerry and moveon.org said you just wait. and now you're hearing it frantically on the other side, which ironically, again, they are putting fox news in the grand conspiracy. >> what about the conference call today that we have to plan and organize? >> exactly. my point is here we've got a couple of local polls that are showing this, and more importantly, and you guys talk to the romney people all the time. i certainly talk to them all the time. i can tell you, they're not pushing back on these ohio polls. they know they are down. how far? are they five down? six? seven? eight? yeah, probably. does anybody in the romney campaign think they're only down by a point or two in ohio? no. they know ohio is falling into troubled territory. >> and they're pretty far behind in new hampshire. they're fighting a dogfight right now in north carolina. >> yeah. >> it's october 1st. that was a state that among the swing states, that was a state that was supposed to be the relatively easy gift for romney. there's a one or two-point race in north carolina on october 1st. they're facing an uph
states. i covered john kerry. we went to colorado and virginia early on. somewhere in september, you backed out. there's a sign there, moving in this direction and now, you can see obama, virginia, very close here. these states are changing and that's driving some of the changes in the politics as well. >> you know, two issue themes that i feel like i see out of here and one is near and dear to your heart, governor lamm, which has to do with fiscal issues and retirement reform. about you know, at some point, we're going to have, the people have a due di to die, when you were talking about how expensive it is. fiscal issues here. if obama doesn't win this state, do you think it's the fiscal issues are the reason? >> if he doesn't win the state, you know, i don't think either of them have shown particularly courage on fiscal issues. i think if obama's able to tie ryan's plan, of course, romney has endorsed it. but it really hasn't stuck yet. i'm in the funny position that i i'm in the funny position that i think ryan just have to fire roast these tomatoes. do you churn your own butter
didn't do as much prep as he might have -- all the prep was against john kerry channeling the mitt romney we've seen for the last five years. >> what's interesting, mika -- >> we ought to be looking at that. >> we have steve schmidt on yesterday. steve schmidt would call me during the 2008 campaign. and it used to drive him crazy, and the mccain campaign crazy, about how arrogant the obama team was. he was, like, they don't respect us at all. he'd go, why -- you know, they don't think we have anything. and that was the attitude that they set forth. and i've just got to believe also there was a huge level of overconfidence going into that romney debate. kind of like the dukakis team had in 1988, that they were the smartest people on the planet, and they looked down on the waters and the great unwashed, and i think maybe he was in shock that mitt romney came out and was effective as he was. >> or maybe they felt and maybe rightfully so, they didn't really need the debate as much as they thought they did. >> maybe they listened to donny. >> but i want to know, mark halperin, what you
remember back in 2004, george w. bush got obliterated by john kerry in the first debate. it was one of the worst performances in a debate i've ever seen. remember he asked for the extra time? then he'd just look in the camera and go, it's hard. it's hard. and yet he still won. this is not -- this keeps the game going, right? >> it do. i think -- i kept thinking about mark twain. the rumors of romney's political death were greatly exaggerated, but twain still died. >> well, there is that. god. thank you this morning for that insight. >> can we go to breaking news or a developing banner on that one? mark twain, dead. >> still dead. >> still dead. >> but i thought it was as -- i think '04 -- >> you know, he's funnier in central time zone. i'm sorry, go ahead. >> on something. >> you should see the stat yuue they have of willie geist down here. >> it's huge. >> i'm going to cite my -- the person who knows most about politics in my life, my 8-year-old daughter who came in and asked, why is president obama so mad? >> there you go. >> walked by the screen. >> i think that's a really, you k
, john kerry with bush, it helps elevate them. there were times it didn't, bob dole first time didn't help him. >> that's a special case, hard to be on stage with president clinton have that turn out well, he is particularly uniquely capable of drawing in an audience. >> people thought that of reagan, he had a bad first outing. >> rag had eagan had an age thi. clinton is extraordinary. i think debates are so different at this moment in a campaign. we have folks calling this campaign the early voting has started, the sense that this is, you know, still sort of a meaningful contribution is up for grabs. >> mike, watching one of the things we've seen, something the polsters warned about, fewer and fewer folks claim the debates are as decisive for them. >> i think they will be. you still have a small undecided. that's what makes the difference. >> they watch, right? that's the hope, you want to be sure they watch. >> yes, i think both sides want that. ratings will be good for the debates, it is a great opportunity, in terms of expectation setting, they're excellent. wouldn't be at this
are running the process. john kerry is a formidable challenger there. he'll stand in as mitt romney. one thing we're reporting is both sides trying to lower expectations heading into the debate on wednesday, which is key for both candidates, alex. >> for themselves and increasing them for the other guy. that's what they're doing right now. thank you so much. let's bring in the political power panel. jonathan kapart, and chris cofinus and jackie gingrich kushman, author and daughter of newt gingrich and former adviser to her father's presidential campaign. welcome to the throuee of you. five days is all mitt romney has before the debate. the politico article everybody is talking about today say this isn't the chair or ho hum convention or the leaked video or distorted polls or the message or mormonism. it's mitt. does he have enough time for a real game change? >> you know, five days before the first debate, 40 days before election day people go around the country already are starting to vote early voting in a bunch of states across the country. it's unclear whether there's enough time. as that
was a better commuter. bush 2004 against john kerry. kerry was a strong debater. i don't see incumbent see aas a factor in these. >> that's fair. there's a multitude of factors that go into success in debates. the challenger in the first debate seems to perform better. one is the person the word has known for three and a half years as the president, and the other is a person they're geg to know. now this makes them equal. that's enormous and the psychological effect is hard to understatement. >> when i was running for congress, as the challenger it was hard to get the incumbent to debate me at all. that's the case for a lot of challenger candidates. "snl" had an amazing take on a potential trouble spot for the president in the debates. let's take a look. >> surely someone has a job that wasn't around in 2008. anyone? there he is. what do you do, sir? >> i chase raccoons out of foreclosed homes. it's great because all those homes have people in them a few years ago. >> good for you. staying outdoors. probably a lot of perks, right? >> yeah. sometimes i eat them raccoons. >> so this question of
, here's john kerry. he signed a letter with other senate intelligence committee members for more info on the libya matter. take a listen to this. >> the republicans are working overtime to try to exploit a very normal, run of the course, administrative letter that we agreed to on a bipartisan basis in our committee, simply to get some additional questions put in front of the state department. >> he goes on to say it's all political now. i mean, is this going to become a campaign issue? >> absolutely. you're already seeing it become a big issue on the campaign. particularly on the republican side. of course. the problem, though, is that the house and the senate both adjourned for the rest of this year, up until after the election, earlier this month, and so if this is going to be an issue that republicans wield against the obama ticket it's going to be one that they're going to have to do on the campaign trail. now, that spelled a problem for mitt romney because it's just one of the latest examples of how his campaign has turned its focus away from the economy, the number one issue the
president obama has had four mock debates with senator john kerry who is of course no stranger to presidential debates. he also i can tell you had one more practice session last night after president obama had a campaign event in las vegas. now, as you pointed out, both sides are really trying to tamper down expectations. lavishing praise on the other candidate. that is because there's so much at stake in these debates really for most candidates. mitt romney tried to turn his campaign around, but president obama trying to hold on to the narrow lead you mentioned in your introduction. really trying to tamp down expectations. should also point out that president obama holding his debate camp right here in nevada which is a key swing state. one of the states he's hoping to win in november. he has a small lead in this state according to the abc wall street journal poll. he's trying to garner excitement by holding his debate camp here. he had a campaign event last night in las vegas. campaign officials tell me we shouldn't be surprised to see him shake a few hands over the next few
of doing that. and a good opponent which i think he has here. john kerry as his debate, you know, preparation opponent here, that can school him in these things. that i think is important and kerry's quite good. we saw that in 2004. he did quite well in all three of those debates but it should be sobering to romney that kerry did well in those debates but it was not decisive in the election. >> a challenger wins just by being on the stage with an incumbent president, but you have to be ronald reagan and do a there you go again and make something of that in the ensuing campaign and also outside events, obviously, iran, the hostage situation was fatally damaging to jimmy carter. but -- >> you can only make the case that really three presidential elections of the modern elections, the debates really played an important role. 1980 was one of those. >> 1960. >> 1960 and probably gerald ford's election where he said that the eastern europe was not -- or poland was not dominated by the soviet union, made some difference in a close election. but this is going to be a close election. in s
majority leader if republicans get enough seats. even saying he'd support john kerry for secretary of state. but he did trip up when he was asked to name his model supreme court justice. >> let me see here. that's a great question. i think justice scalia is a very good judge. justice kennedy is obviously very good. and justice roberts, justice -- >> warren couldn't hold in her laughter, but she had her own oops moment. >> can you name some republicans in the senate today that you are able to work with on big issues, substantiative issues the country faces? >> probably richard lugar would come to mind. >> he's not going to be there. who else can you name? >> that is a problem. >> by the way, on scalia, in a state like massachusetts, the conservative justice there not very popular with some of the base folks there. not only has the massachusetts senate race become one of the most competitive in the country, it's sparked fireworks outside the debate hall. kelli o'donnell is in massachusetts. kelly, take me into the spin room. take me into the crowd. we saw what happened on air wp what happened
to our tuesday political power panel. leah henderson, ted devine, senior strategist for al gore and john kerry. eugene robinson wrote in "the washington post" the challenges facing mitt romney in this debate, but going specifically saying romney's task is more difficult. for the umpteenth time he has to introduce himself to the american people and erase all the impressions of the mitt romney we met earlier and reveal a coherent person, one voters can imagine as a leader. is this debate more romney against himself? critics paint him displaying this flaccid leadership. >> he has to present himself as a president who would represent all americans. he said that several times. he's practicing that debate line. here again, even when he engages with that comment, it reminds people of that 47% remark. you see him over the last couple of days. i think it was today there is an interview in the "denver post" where he seems to be softening his stances around immigration. here is a candidate looking at a huge deficit in some of these swing states, deficits among hispanics, deficits among women. he's
that both ted kennedy and john kerry voted to confirm scalia and it was a 98-0 vote. democrats are seizing on it and talking about some of the positions that scalia has take than they feel are too conservative. too conservative is not what scott brown wants to be associated with in trying to appeal to especially democrats in massachusetts who might be willing to cross over and vote for him. he's under a real disadvantage with the registration here, so many more democrats and as you've been watching the polling there are 18% of those who have been questioned who aren't sure which way they want to go. for elizabeth warren, i was struck by the fact that four years ago, similar question to then senator barack obama, who does he feel he can work with, he mentioned dick lugar. perhaps that's something that popped into her head. not realizing he lost his primary and will not be in the senate. she did not come up with another name and that reaction was an uncomfortable moment for her. the slish for her is could she work across party lines because brown has paint her as being in lockstep with democ
] to his hotel for some down time. since senator john kerry is not accompanying him, assume the last debates for now are over. in fact, we think he is going to be spending time with his advisers, consulting with him and also some time with the first lady this evening. as you know, polls show the president with a modest lead right now, some sense, cameron, he has the most to lose. there certainly is a lot riding on it. >> kristen, tomorrow, the president will be in wisconsin, right? >> that's absolutely right. back in wisconsin, friday, and then he has one down day on saturday then back on the campaign trail. i will be with him, but of course, going to be hoping that tonight is at least a victory you the president can campaign on that in the next several days. >> thank you. joining me now, nbc news political analyst, former pennsylvania governor ed rendell. thank you so much for your time you governor. >> sure, tamron. how are you? >> i am very good. let me first get your feeling going into this. i know we are several hours out. but what is your gut telling you? >> i'm as confused and
's a command performance, maybe some kind of slipup by obama. you think of john kerry in the first debate in 2004. maybe romney is able to revive his campaign tonight. the second possibility is, you know, something goes wrong for romney, he actually loses this debate. obviously that would be terrible for him now the third possibility, to be honest, probably the most likely one is nothing happens it is pace basically a draw, maybe 90 minutes of dull and boring television if that happens, the status quo in this vase affirmed. the status quo in this race has been a steady, stub burn three or four-point lead for barack obama and at that point, romney would be running out of big-moment opportunities to turn this thing around. that's what i'm looking for. here with us now in denver, we have howard fineman, the "huffington post" media group. said he is the buffalo bob of our show. >> now i'm don meredith because don meredith always used to say on monday night football, when the game was nearly over, woe start singing. ♪ the party's over but not there yet. >> bring you back to sing at some poin
have been in the situation with candidates before. ted, you were closely involved with the john kerry campaign and al gore campaigns. what went wrong last night for barack obama? >> well, andrea, you know i think we have to credit governor romney who came in there with a real plan, with a real strategy and he executed it it. i think he performed well. the president, for those of us who support him, was not as aggressive as we would have liked to seen. i have looked at cbs and cnn poll, the president's performance was not as good as governor romney's, i'll stipulate, the president made progress with voters, who has a plan for the next four years, progress on things like who cares about you, even on his leadership dimension. governor romney did better on all of those dimensions. nevertheless the president moved forward with critical voters. in the end the debate is a bump in the road, to borrow one of his expressions but i think that's all it will be. >> do you agree with that, john, that -- go ahead. >> i think this was a bad debate for the president. i think it could be a harbinger of
back and cleans his clock in the second one. john kerry in 2004, you remember, won the first debate, against george bush. george bush similarly seemed very unhappy to be there as the president. bush comes back in the second one and wins, goes on to win. so lots of opportunity for the president to come back. but clearly let romney back into this. >> i guess, sam, how far is mitt going to go towards the middle? i mean, bill brings up the question of reproductive rights, the obama care question is certainly still, you know, how much is mitt romney going to embrace massachusetts, his legacy there, in the coming weeks? it's a sharp pivot. >> wasn't just during the debate. he was on fox news saying his 47% comments were completely wrong after doing a press conference the night after saying he stood by the basic premise of it. they are pivoting, the extent to which it goes i have no idea. the extent to which he said he never wrote that op-ed never go bankrupt we'll have the full turn there. to get back to the first turn, i don't think their contradictory attacks by the obama campaign -- it
that well in his first debate with john kerry. i think exactly the same thing here. with obama sitting in those meetings saying i know this stuff, i deal with it all the time, but he hadn't been forced in a debate setting to say these are the offensive argument, defensive arguments these are the three points i want to make and i think that was part of his problem. >> i think one of sort of malpractice moments, the most obvious was the two-minute closing statement. you're a speechwriter, you're a columnist now, you prepare presidents. how does he not have a narrative? we talk about narratives and it becomes slangy, but telling a story, with a start, middle and end and he had a two-minute closer that sounded as chris mathews said, memorably, sounded like a concession speech. you know, i'm not a perfect man, i've made mistakes, i'm sure mitt romney would say i've made mistakes how is that the opening line of your two-minute closer? >> yeah. >> that he carried into the closing statement. i don't think that -- i think that was lacking in the rest of the performance for the president. >> the
john kerry called for rice to stay on. the republican party has severed ties with a virginia based consulting group it has paid $3 million to this year alone. the group is being investigated for voter fraud in nine counties in florida. right now, my story of the week. the republican bubble trap. if you follow politics, you've probably noticed that polling of the presidential election has swung quite decidedly in the president's favor over the last couple of weeks. the real clear politics polling average now has obama up 4.1 points over mitt romney in national poles. nate silver's prediction model put barack obama's odds of winning the election above 80% for the first time ever. swing state polling just this week seems to confirm the trend. a new quinnipiac "new york times" cbs poll shows surprisingly strong leads for the president. the galup tracking poll shows obama up six points. it's pretty hard to survey the polling data and not come to the conclusion that barack obama is beating mitt romney, that if the election were held today barack obama would win and that romney has a rela
? are they that important? >> absolutely. you know, i, eight years ago, was on the kerry campaign. and john kerry came into that first debate and changed the entire dynamic of that race. we were eight points down. and we came out of the debates tied or even a little bit ahead. so absolutely, debates are very important. it's the first time that voters really get to see these two candidates side by side. and to compare not just their styles, because i know a lot of people will be talking about style tonight. but really their visions. the details, the specifics, where they want to take the country. how they're answering some of these tough questions, and whether they're giving real answers. so absolutely. i think mitt romney has an opportunity to shake up the race tonight. you know, obviously, you know, expectations, both sides have been playing the expectations game. the reality is that challengers win the first debate more often than not. you know, you might think that's me playing expectations, but that's also a fact. and we know that mitt romney is a good debater. the president's a pretty good debate
for the president as bad a performance add george w. bush had in his first debate against john kerry. >> the president had an opportunity tonight. he created a problem for himself on social security tonight. he agrees with mitt romney. every liberal in this country knows that mitt romney wants to privatize social security down the road. and to do a deal with the devil on that would be the wrong thing to do. i think the president created a big problem for himself. i don't think he explained himself very well on the economy. i thought he was off his game. i was stunned tonight. rash elyou just mentioned about time, the president needs to get in and fight for that time. there's people that expect him to fight for that time. >> i thought the one thing that mitt romney did tonight that he has not done for the duration of the campaign and was very effective was just lop off the right wing of his party. he didn't care about them tonight. if something was popular, more money for community schools, he was for that. it didn't matter if it would make the right wing, how. whenever the president
. yesterday on nbc's andrea mitchell reports, senator john kerry praised mitt romney's debate prowess and the president's limitations going into the debate. let's take a listen to this. >> it's tough i think for a president who hasn't had primaries, hasn't been out there, hasn't been debating in four years, then he only had very few debates that weren't as consequential. is the campaign seriously concerned about the president not being prepared here, laura? are these pre-emptive excuses? >> i don't think they're concerned about his being unprepared. for starters as president he is up-to-date on every world issue, any issue out there. they have spent a lot of time preparing for understanding mitt romney's record and understanding the lines of attack that are likely to come from romney. so i don't think there's going to be any question about preparation. they are concerned about some aspects of the president's performance. he does tend to sort of be a little professor didn't like. go on in settings where there is no stop watch timing his spons. so he needs to be quicker, he needs to be
couple of days, president obama will be debating with john kerry. of course, he is someone who is no stranger to presidential debates. now, campaign officials tell us that so far they have had four mock debates. not as many as they would have hoped. they say president obama had to cancel a few given he's dealing with issues like the unrest in the middle east. that's what they're telling us. we can also tell you they're trying to tamp down expectations ahead of wednesday's big debate. we're told according to campaign officials they're working with the president to try to get him to shorten some of his answers. as you know, this president has been described as long-winded at times. campaign officials feel as though that's not conducive to having a successful debate performance. so they're trying to encourage him to give shorter, crisper answers to make sure his key points don't get lost on wednesday night. as i said, both sides are trying to tamp down expectations. we cannot overstate that. they are really keeping praise on one another. there's really a lot at stake on wednesday
government, left wing democrat who just this morning we learned has -- a unanimous senate panel led by john kerry is demanding he tell the truth about benghazi. every time you turn around, underneath this zone of the great speaker there is a president with massive unemployment. they just downgraded the economy for the last three months yesterday. the manufacturing index is collapsing. and so i'm just suggesting -- >> this benghazi story by the way is a huge story. right now dee dee myers the fbi won't even go into benghazi because it is so dangerous which leads you to wonder why they didn't listen to warnings before the attack and before our u.s. ambassador was killed. this is one of those issues and i think charles krauthammer said it perfectly today in "the washington post" that if mitt romney actually knew how to put forth an argument. >> right. >> he could really be grabbing attention. >> one of the problems was he jumped out ahead of this and politicized it in the hours immediately after the attack which discredited him in the media term as a spokesman for the other side. >> it was --
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